The old Memorial University College at 50 Parade Street received a City of St. John’s Heritage Award earlier this week.
The Memorial on Parade Commemorative Committee picked up the award in recognition of “stewardship and long-term preservation of a building in heritage 1 area.”
“This five-year project has been a labour of love for the Memorial on Parade Committee, all of whom are passionate about the preservation of our post-secondary educational heritage in this city and province,” said Bob LeMessurier, chair of the committee.
“These historic grounds and Memorial building are most deserving of recognition and we are most grateful to the City of St. John’s for this award which we humbly appreciate and cherish.”
Memorial University College
Memorial University College was established in 1925 as a living memorial to those who died in active service in the First World War.
In 1919, the Newfoundland Patriotic Association passed a resolution calling for a “memorial for our sailors and soldiers, in the form of an education building which shall raise to a higher level the whole status of education in Newfoundland and materially assist its young people to achieve success.”
From its very beginning, Memorial had a special relationship with the military and later with law enforcement.
During the Second World War, the students shared their college with members of the Canadian forces. Wounded sailors were tended in the gymnasium and service members of the Canadian and Newfoundland forces took courses at the college. After the war, as many as 50 servicemen enrolled at Memorial.
And today, the building that stands on 50 Parade Street is called Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Memorial Campus. Story boards there, also spearheaded and organized by the Memorial on Parade Commemorative Committee, tell the story of the building and interpret the connections among the organizations that have used the building since 1925 – Memorial, the Marine Institute and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.
“No matter how much we grow, no matter how many national and international successes we enjoy, we never forget the foundation of who we are and our special commitment to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Bert Riggs, co-chair of the WW100 Commemoration Steering.
“Fifty Parade Street is the physical manifestation of that foundation, and I congratulate and thank the Memorial on Parade Committee for all they have done to keep its history alive.”